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Historic Hotels of America Announces The 2018 Top 25 Most Magnificent Gingerbread Displays

at Historic Hotels in the United States of Travel newsAmerica

December 13, 2018 11:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

WASHINGTON--()--December 13, 2018 Historic Hotels of America® has the best hotels to celebrate the holiday season and see the most spectacular (and delicious) gingerbread creations. From almost life size replicas of a historic hotel to intricate and detailed edible villages, there are a variety of magnificent gingerbread creations that are worthwhile to see this holiday season.

“Each is a work of culinary artistry. We are pleased to recognize the many historic hoteliers, pastry chefs, carpenters, and other artisans that have created these wonderful gingerbread displays.”

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Can you imagine a gingerbread recipe that requires 6,000 house-made bricks, 1,650 pounds of candy, 3,300 pounds of royal icing, and when finished 11 persons can dine inside? Another gingerbread recipe required the help of 10 master pastry chefs and two carpenters working for more than 220 hours and used 958 pounds of powdered sugar, 650 eggs, 475 pounds of flour, to create a 13 foot high replica of a legendary historic hotel.

Here is The 2018 Top 25 Most Magnificent Gingerbread Displays:

The Willard InterContinental (1818) Washington, DC
Every year, The Willard’s pastry department works to create a gingerbread display that pays tribute to an iconic landmark around the nation’s capital. This year’s display honors Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA). Situated on the banks of the Potomac River in Virginia, National Airport first opened for business on June 16, 1941. Spearheaded by Jason Jimenez (Executive Pastry Chef), Magenta Livengood (Pastry Cook), and David Sanabria (Engineer), and assisted by the hotel’s entire pastry team, the design of the gingerbread display began in late September, with construction beginning in November. Taking over 350 hours, this display weighs nearly 400 pounds and contains over 100 LED lights, 30 feet of electrical wire, 306 pieces of gingerbread and 30 pounds of fondant standing as the runways. It also includes a live audio feed from DCA's control tower.

French Lick Springs Hotel (1845) French Lick, Indiana
This year, the historic French Lick Springs Hotel is being recreated in gingerbread. The gingerbread hotel is still crafted the same way as the gingerbread houses from prior years, as everything guests will see on the exterior is edible — from the real gingerbread made from scratch in the bakery, to the sugary stained-glass windows and snowflakes and other adornments that make it sparkle. The gingerbread creation has taken 500-600 combined work hours to create and can be seen at the hotel through January 6.

Grand Hotel Golf Resort & Spa (1847) Point Clear, Alabama
This year, the Grand Hotel has created a massive gingerbread replica of the resort. The pastry chefs at the Grand Hotel started working on the display in late October and finished on Thanksgiving Day. From making the dough, rolling, cutting, baking, assembling, and decorating it, the four-week project is a Grand tradition. Utilizing over 150 pounds of flour and 150 pounds of royal icing, this year’s creation is one not to be missed.

Pinehurst Resort (1895) Pinehurst, North Carolina
This year’s gingerbread village is a complete recreation of landmarks from the Village of Pinehurst, including the Village Chapel, Carolina Hotel, and other cottages from around Pinehurst. This year’s gingerbread village is quite massive requiring 14 tables to support over 80 pounds of gingerbread. It takes a staff of 12 three months to complete and requires engineers, an electrician, audio-visual setup staff to work around the pastry crew from 7 am to 5 pm non-stop. 50 gallons of royal icing and over 70 pounds of assorted candies are used for this creation, complete with a train around the village.

The Fairmont San Francisco (1907) San Francisco, California
Fairmont San Francisco’s two-story, life-sized Gingerbread House in the hotel’s grand lobby has become a must-see attraction for guests from near and far. Fairmont San Francisco’s talented culinary and engineering teams have joined forces to meticulously plan construction of this year’s enormous Gingerbread House, which will be even larger than last year’s stunning, two-story-high Victorian! Once complete, the impressive, edible abode will stand more than 25 feet high, 35 feet wide and 10.5 feet deep and will feature more than 6,000 house-made gingerbread bricks (largest bricks to date), 1,650 pounds of candy and 3,300 pounds of royal icing. The gingerbread house’s railroad track also delights guests of all ages, who happily gaze upon this favorite feature. The beloved Gingerbread House now offers a private dining space for up to 10 guests. This space can be reserved in advance and is the ideal place for afternoon tea or dinner, or a special occasion.

Omni Grove Park Inn (1913) Asheville, North Carolina
It all began with a small group of gingerbread houses built by community members in 1992 as another way to celebrate the holiday season with no plans to continue the following year. There was no possible way to know that more than two decades later The Omni Grove Park Inn National Gingerbread House Competition™ would be one of the nation's most celebrated and competitive holiday events. The gingerbread display has grown in more than just entries; it has become a true family holiday tradition. The 26th Annual National Gingerbread House Competition™ was held on Monday, November 19, 2018. The winning creations will be on display Sunday, November 25, 2018 - January 4, 2019.

Omni William Penn (1916) Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
This year’s gingerbread house is a replica of the historic Omni William Penn, dating back to 1916. Located in the lobby for all guests to admire from mid-November through January, this gingerbread house took 80 hours to complete utilizing all of the hotel’s culinary team and measuring in at five feet tall and three feet wide. Over 200 pounds of gingerbread, 48 pounds of powdered sugar and 252 mint candies were used when creating this replica gingerbread hotel.

The Broadmoor (1918) Colorado Springs, Colorado
The Broadmoor is wrapping up its centennial year celebration with its largest gingerbread display to date, measuring in with an over 13 foot tall replica of the 1918 resort. A holiday tradition since 1964, this year’s Broadmoor gingerbread display honors its heritage. The Broadmoor’s gingerbread display took over 10 master pastry chefs and two carpenters over 220 hours to create and includes 958 pounds of powdered sugar, 650 eggs, and 475 pounds of flour. Over the years The Broadmoor has come up with some innovative and ambitious gingerbread displays including a full size steam engine in 2016 and a 13 foot tall chapel in 2017.

Hilton Chicago (1927) Chicago, Illinois
This six foot gingerbread hotel replica utilizes 300 pounds of flour, 200 pounds of powdered sugar, and 16,000 gingerbread bricks and weighs over 750 pounds. Three pastry chefs worked tirelessly to create this masterpiece totaling over 270 hours of work to get the gingerbread creation completed. It took 16,500 individual gingerbread ‘bricks” and 300 “windows” to create the scene. This year’s display features notable Chicago landmarks including the Historic Hilton Chicago, Buckingham Fountain, Willis Tower, John Hancock Tower, and the Cloud Gate, among others. Every Saturday from November 17th through December 15th, the hotel will have a cookie decorating station for kids at 10 am-12 pm by the Gingerbread Hotel.

Skytop Lodge (1928) Skytop, Pennsylvania
The 2018 gingerbread display at Skytop Lodge is one not to be missed. Construction of the 11 foot tall and 19 foot wide gingerbread structure began in August and was erected in the hotel at the end of October. Using 250 pounds of powdered sugar and 60 pounds of egg whites just for the icing alone, this life-sized gingerbread house is impressive to all visitors and guests of the hotel and can be seen at the hotel through the end of the year. More than 1,000 hours of labor and a few thousand pounds of gingerbread went into making this year's display. The theme of the gingerbread creation for this year is Skytop Lodge itself, with bakers replicating resort’s main building in edible form.

In addition to those listed above, here are several other historic hotels with amazing gingerbread creations:

Hanover Inn Dartmouth (1780) Hanover, New Hampshire

Omni Bedford Resort & Spa (1806) Bedford, Pennsylvania

Mohonk Mountain House (1869) New Paltz, New York

The Peabody Memphis (1869) Memphis, Tennessee

Palmer House®, a Hilton Hotel (1871) Chicago, Illinois

Wentworth by the Sea (1874) New Castle, New Hampshire

The Jefferson Hotel (1895) Richmond, Virginia

The Drake (1920) Chicago, Illinois

La Fonda (1922) Santa Fe, New Mexico

The Brown Hotel (1923) Louisville, Kentucky

Omni San Francisco Hotel (1926) San Francisco, California

Mayflower Park Hotel (1927) Seattle, Washington

The Settlers Inn at Bingham Park (1927) Hawley, Pennsylvania

The Edgewater (1948) Madison, Wisconsin

Hotel Captain Cook (1964) Anchorage, Alaska

“The tradition of gingerbread fairy-tale houses reportedly started in the United States more than 200 years ago with the German immigrants to Pennsylvania. Today, one of the world’s largest gingerbread houses is created and baked (in parts of course) at the Skytop Lodge in Pennsylvania. Across the country, 11 people can dine in the more than life-sized gingerbread house at the Fairmont San Francisco,” said Lawrence Horwitz, Executive Director Historic Hotels of America and Historic Hotels Worldwide. “Each is a work of culinary artistry. We are pleased to recognize the many historic hoteliers, pastry chefs, carpenters, and other artisans that have created these wonderful gingerbread displays.”

For a complete listing of magnificent gingerbread displays, visit

About Historic Hotels of America®

Historic Hotels of America is the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation for recognizing and celebrating the finest Historic Hotels. Historic Hotels of America has more than 300 historic hotels. These historic hotels have all faithfully maintained their authenticity, sense of place, and architectural integrity in the United States of America, including 46 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Historic Hotels of America is comprised of mostly independently owned and operated historic hotels. More than 30 of the world’s finest hospitality brands, chains, and collections are represented in Historic Hotels of America. To be nominated and selected for membership into this prestigious program, a hotel must be at least 50 years old; has been designated by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior as a National Historic Landmark or listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places; and recognized as having historic significance. For more information, please visit